Exploring the Parks and Nature Areas Around Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls has 76 named parks throughout the city that range from small sites suitable for neighborhood gatherings and playgrounds to large well developed nature centers such as Great Bear Recreational Park, Arrowhead Park, the Wegner Arboretum and East Sioux Falls Historical Site, and the linked park system along the Big Sioux River. The state provides outdoor recreation areas and state parks including the Big Sioux Recreation Area, Beaver Creek Nature Area, Lake Alvin Recreation Area, Newton Hills State Park, and the Outdoor Campus in Sioux Falls that is a joint city/state operation.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Arrowhead Park in the Early Winter

This is an especially interesting time to go out to Arrowhead Park in Sioux Falls for a stroll around the quarry ponds to view the geese and ducks who have decided to remain in our area during the winter. 
The ponds have aerators to keep a portion of the surface ice free, and the city parks department spreads corn kernels along the shore within the park for their dining pleasure. In addition, visitors distribute corn and other food to the birds at the pond nearest the parking lot at the entrance.  
So, hundreds of geese and ducks, maybe thousands, gather throughout much of the winter and present quite a show for visitors.
For the past few years, the parks department has kept the paved trail that runs through the park open from the parking lot along far east 26th Street to the Wallace Dow designed barn. 

The trail along the back section of the park has not been cleared in years past, but perhaps this may come to pass at some point in the future.  For now, however, the snow has melted, and the trail throughout the park is clear of snow and ice.
There is not a lot of traffic along the trail at this time of year.  For the past few days, my wife and I have bundled up and made the 30-minute hike on sunny afternoons.  The temperatures have not been too cold – in the 20s and 30s - but the wind can be uncomfortable.
As they say, though, there is no inclement weather; there is only inappropriate dress. If we dress for the weather, most of us will be fine strolling throughout the winter.